This solution is part of Room Divisions Operations Management Assignment, given for HND Hospitality Course.
The main aim of the hospitality industry is to provide accommodation and food service to the customers and ensure complete customer satisfaction. One of the most important elements of the hospitality industry is the Room division management. The major function of room division management is to create a neat and pleasant environment for the customers and make sure that the customers take immense pleasure in the services of the hotel. The assignment elaborates the various elements of room operation management like the legislative and regulatory requirements with respect to rooms division, roles and responsibilities for selection of accommodation and reception staff and customer service offered by room division.
The key aspects of legislation and regulatory guidelines that are relevant to the room division operation in the hospitality industry are as follows:
- Safety of Guests: The safety of the guests when they are in the premises of the hotel is the responsibility of the hotel. For example the guests need to be protected from wet floors, naked wires etc.
- Security of Guests: Maintaining the standards of security of the guests is also the responsibility of the hotel. According to this requirement there should be proper arrangement of locking the doors and windows. (Atherton & Atherton, 1996)
- Privacy of Guests: The hotel also owns the responsibility of taking special responsibility of the privacy of the guests. The examples of this include keeping the identity of the guests confidential. Another example is in case the keys of the room are lost by the guest, a duplicate key cannot be issued by the hotel only if the identity of the guest is confirmed.
- Property of the Guests: The hotel also has the responsibility for theft, loss or damage of the personal property of the guests. For this, hotels provide a facility of safes to the guests.
Accommodation and Reception are the main elements of Rooms Division Operations Management. Accommodation ensures a clean and enjoyable environment to the customers and can be divided into two broad functions. These are Housekeeping and Engineering.
The main roles and responsibilities of Housekeeping are:
- To ensure total cleanliness.
- To coordinate with the reception for allocation of rooms.
- To examine that the accommodation is neat and clean.
- To ensure that all health and safety regulations are met.
- To make arrangements for the laundry and linen supplies.
- To organize for services like catering etc. in coordination with other departments
- To ensure other facilities like kitchen, pantries, refrigerators and other supplies.
The roles and responsibilities of Engineering are:
- To ensure the repair and maintenance of all the equipment and furniture of the hotel.
- To make details of services of daily use like water, electricity, hot water, air conditioning etc. for the hotel on a routine basis.
The Reception has five major areas. This includes Front Office, Bell service, Mail and Information, Concierge, Cashier and Night auditors. The front office further includes Front Officer Managers and Day Clerks.
The roles and responsibilities of the Front office managers of the reception are:
- To provide better services to the guests
- To make the forecasts of the rooms.
- To make sure that the budgets are met.
- To ensure that the desired market is identified and captured.
The roles and responsibilities of the Day Clerks are:
- To offer additional services to the guests like fax, mail, messages etc.
- To analyse the occupancy of the previous night.
- To evaluate the arrivals and departures of the guests.
- To make special arrangements of the VIP rooms
- To make roasters and schedules for the staff for planning the shifts.
- To maintain a balanced account statement for the guests.
Doormen, Bellmen and others like elevator operators, clerks and lobby porters are a part of the bell service. The main responsibilities of each of these is
- Doorman greets the guests when they arrive at the hotel.
- Bellman carries the luggage of the guests and escorts them to their room when they come to the hotel.
- Clerks look after the mail and information services of guests.
Concierge is another extension of the front desk agent. It provides special additional help to the customers like
- Providing information and directions
- Arranging sightseeing tours
- Making cab and ticket bookings
- Handling email and other information
The responsibilities of the Cashier and Night Auditor are:
- To add daily charges in the books of the accounts.
- To balance the accounts of the guests
- To complete the daily reports of the guests
The services offered by the rooms division in the hospitality industry have been mentioned below:
- A warm welcome to the guests when they arrive in the hotel by the doormen.
- Additional services to the guests like carrying the luggage to their respective rooms by the bellmen.
- A well-organized registration when the guests check in and an efficient settlement of the accounts when the guests check out by the front desk executives.
- Extended service like providing directions and information, booking ticket bookings and planning sightseeing etc. for the guests of the hotel by concierge.
- Giving the facility of wake-up calls to the guests of the hotel, if required.
- Providing luxury services like stress relaxation, spas, yoga sessions etc. to the guests at the hotel. (Brotherton, 2012)
- To ensure neat and clean rooms with laundry services and linen.
- To make sure there is regular supply of hot water and working air conditioners for the guests.
- To offer facilities like conferences and banquets to the guests of the hotel.
The Front of the House includes Reception, Bell Service, Mail and Information Concierge and Cashiers and Night auditors and the accommodation includes engineering and housekeeping. The importance of these segments is:
- Ensuring Quality Culture: The front of the house services shows the culture at the hotel. A good quality cultural leads to overall customer satisfaction.
- Design and Layout: The front of the house includes the basic design and layout of the hotel. A well planned design and attractive layout can attract a large number of customers in the hotel.
- Service of Concierge: The guests feel privileged if their personal needs are taken care of efficiently. The service of concierge provides additional services to the customer like information and direction, planning sightseeing, arranging travel tickets and cab bookings which lead to satisfied customers.
- Ensures Repeat Customers: If the front house and accommodation provide excellent services to the guests and ensure complete satisfaction to them, the guests choose to come to the same hotel again. This leads to repeat customers and increased business.
The key aspects of planning and management of the front house area have been discussed below:
- The front house is the point of sale and efficient planning and management at the front office can win or lose a customer as the first impression is the last impression
- Bookings and allocation of rooms should also be planned before hand to avoid any last minute confusions.
- The records of the guests should be updated as and when there is any transaction. The accounts of the customer should be settled when he checks out.
- Yield Management method which includes demand forecasting may be used to increase the room revenue by using demand-forecasting techniques based on the classical economic theory of supply and demand.
- E-mail and private branch exchange should also be planned at front office for delivering quality services to customers.
- Planning should be done to manage safety and security of guests.
- Proper staff rosters and schedules should be made to ensure that there is no chaos and all the desired professionals are available at the right place at the right time.
- Well planned software applications can also be used for coordinating the operational functions of front office and managing sales like guest bookings, online reservations, sales and marketing and human resources.
The key aspects of planning and management for Accommodation service are as follows:
- Proper guidelines should be mentioned to handle the problems related to the guests coming to the hotel.
- Planning and Management of accommodation services provides the best accommodation services to the guests of the hotel it is important to have a well-planned building which complies with all regulations.
- The planning of the rooms should be done in such a way that they have good light and ventilation. Planning should be done to also ensure all basic facilities like Television, telephone air conditioner etc. are available to the guest.
- To ensure 100% customer satisfaction all latest facilities like internet, e-mail, fax etc. should be made available to the guests. (Morrison, 1996)
There are a number of operational issues which affect the business performance of the front house area and the accommodation service.
The operational issues related to the front office area have been mentioned below:
- Overbooking: Overbooking is an operational issue related to the front office which can affect the performance of business of the hotel. The hotels make bookings more than what they can accommodate which leads to a bad experience for the guests as it gets difficult to manage the situation in such cases of overbooking.
- Labour Shortage: In peak seasons, it also happens that the enough labour is not available for the hotel as per the requirement. This situation is called labour shortage. If the labour supply is less in the hotel than the requirement, the expectations of the customers are not met and it may lead to dissatisfied customers. This can affect the business as well as the image of the hotel business. (Jones & Pizam, 1993).
- Cost Cutting: The cost of operations of the hotel business like the cost of land, construction, technology is increasing rapidly. Also the expectations of the customers are on a high as far as the facilities provided at the hotel are concerned. Under such circumstances the hotel does cost cutting in order to minimize costs and maximize profits which may lead to customer dissatisfaction.
- Elite Guests: It may also happen that the guests themselves are an operational problem as they are very fussy about their requirements.
- Unforeseen problems: Unpredictable problems like power cuts and water shortages also have a deep impact on the services delivered to the guests.
The operational issues related to accommodation are as follows:
- Physical conditions: Physical conditions like property market value, technology costs can affect the normal proposed plan of action for the success of the hotel. This may hamper the overall business of the hotel and can influence the customer experience. (Alexander, 2007)
- Competition: The competition in the market, performance of the competitors and market growth puts a lot of pressures on the management to perform. These factors also influence the business of the hotels.
- Staff: The number quality and experience of the staff is another important element of accommodation. If the building is clean and the overall infrastructure is excellent but the staff is not skilled enough, the customer tends to be dissatisfied and it may affect the business of the hotel.
- Marketing & Sales: The marketing planning done by the hotel to increase the revenues of the hotel can also affect the quality of business and the efficiency of the management. (Lewis & Chambers, 1999).
- Financial analysis: A continuous analysis of the budget is performed along with its forecasting and control. This is another problem which can affect the efficiency of management and the quality of business.
Revenue is the total amount of money generated from the sales of the rooms in a Hotel. Winchester Hotel is a famous hotel based out of UK and the occupancy and room availability data in the hotel are given above. The Winchester Hotel has a total of 215 rooms of different types. The pricing of each room is different and is dependent upon two factors i.e. The Demand Trend and the Room Type.
The revenue may be calculated as:
Room Rent of Type A* Number of rooms of Type A + Room Rent of Type B* Number of rooms of Type B + Room Rent of Type C* Number of rooms of Type C.
|Room Type||Number of Rooms||Number of Beds||Rooms Occupied||Occupancy|
Yield management is often calculated by a demand forecasting technique. It is basically a variable pricing strategy. The theory of Yield Management is based on expecting and influencing consumer behaviour so as to maximize profits from a fixed source. (Donaghy, McMahon & McDowell, 1995).
There are different sales and pricing techniques to maximize and promote revenues. Some of these have been mentioned below:
- Leader Pricing: Leader pricing means to sell regularly purchased products at prices below the normal. This helps to increase the flow of customers towards buying the product.
- Suggestive Selling: In suggestive selling the salesman suggest a product as per the requirement of the customer. The main pre-requisite for such a strategy is good customer relations
- Promotional Markdowns: In the method of promotional markdowns the revenue is increased by increasing the sales of products by reducing the prices by a small amount.
- Price Bundling: Price bundling is the practice of offering different products together for the price of one product. More than one product is sold at a lower price as compared to the price that would be charged if the products were bought individually.
- Individual based variable pricing: In the individual based variable pricing strategy each individual is charged according to his paying capacity.
Forecasting and statistical data may be used in many ways in the room division operations management. This has been explained below:
- Statistics can be used to calculate occupancy ratios of the hotel.
- Demand forecasting technique may be used to predict demand of the rooms. This helps in delegating the rooms to customers.
- Analysis of trends and time of the year when the different room types are occupied can also be made. (Tsaur, 2001)
- Yield management techniques may also be used as a tool for room division at a hotel.
The key performance indicators for measuring the success of accommodation sales are: -
- Percentage of Occupancy: Dividing the Total Rooms Occupied by the Total Rooms available gives the Percentage of Occupancy.
For Winchester Hotel, the Percentage Occupancy = 180 /215 = 0.84
- Average Daily Room Rate: Average Daily Room Rate helps us identify whether the room rent is covering the costs or not and if it is above the median rate or not.
Average Daily Room Rate = Total Rooms Revenue / Total Rooms Sold
- Double Occupancy percentage: Double Occupancy percentage is calculate by Dividing the difference of Total number of guests and Number of rooms occupied by number of double occupied rooms. (Sigala, Jones, Lockwood & Airey, 2005)
For Winchester Double Occupancy Percentage = 260 – 180 / 140 = 0.5714